Bees for Development Journal Edition 102 - March 2012

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ISSUE NO 102, MARCH 2012



Bees for Development Journal 102

Dear friends

Bees for Development’s offices are in Monmouth, a small town in South Wales in the west of Britain. From here we publish this Journal and distribute it worldwide, provide training resources to beekeepers in developing countries, manage our international projects, and run our Information Service. Recently we have created a small shop and Information Centre to raise local awareness of bees and beekeeping. Many British people are now enthusiastic to become beekeepers, and this new area is often full of visitors asking about the craft: we are happy to see beekeeping’s new profile as a cool and modern activity! For many years we have been working to enable bee product trade in many countries, and now for the first time we are selling ourselves.

Stingless beekeepers in El Salvador

ISSUE No 102 March 2012 In this issue


Importance of stingless bees in El Salvador....................................... 3 Stakeholders share hive technology experiences........................ 5 Recent research.................................... 6 Letters ................................................. 6 Trees Bees Use..................................... 7 Marketing strategy for honey in Ethiopia............................................ 8 40 nations eligible for honey import by EU........................................ 9 Notice Board ........................................ 9 News around the World...................... 10 Look and Learn Ahead ........................ 12 Notice Board ...................................... 12 Bookshelf ........................................... 14

BfD Journal Our quarterly magazine distributed to readers in over 130 countries Editor Nicola Bradbear PhD Co-ordinator Helen Jackson BSc Subscriptions cost £26 per year - see page 15 for ways to pay Readers in developing countries: can apply for a sponsored subscription using the form on page 16 or through our website Bf D Trust works to assist beekeepers in developing countries. See page 16 for how to become a Supporter. UK Registered Charity1078803

Bees for Development Post

1 Agincourt Street Monmouth NP25 3DZ, UK Phone +44 (0)1600 714848

Our shop stocks produce from local beekeepers, as well as African honey and candles, and a range of equipment for sustainable beekeeping. A very important aspect is to inform visitors about the goods they are buying and who produced them, and we display a great range of secondary products made with honey and beeswax. We are pleased that Ghana and Madagascar have now joined the list of African nations eligible to export honey to the EU (see page 9) and hope to soon feature their honeys alongside the other beautiful bee products in our display.

SUPPORT: Bees for Development Trust acknowledge Panta Rhea Foundation, E H Thorne (Beehives) Ltd, the Waterloo Foundation and the many beekeeping groups and individuals who support our work. Please encourage your friends and colleagues to help.

Copyright: You are welcome to translate and/or reproduce items appearing in BfDJ as part of our Information Service. Permission is given on the understanding that BfDJ and author(s) are acknowledged, Bf D contact details are provided in full, and you send us a copy of the item or the website address where it is used.



Bees for Development Journal 102

Carlos Ruano & Miguel Hernández, Faculty of Agronomy Science, University of El Salvador, San Salvador, El Salvador

Artificial pots inside colony of Melipona beecheii

Keywords: Central America, cerumen, Melipona beecheii, meliponiculture, Nannotrigona testaceicornis, pollinator, Tetragonisca angustula

hollow logs, bamboo trunks, cement tubes or dried pumpkins. The management of these colonies is rudimentary and not all beekeepers check the inside of the hive. A few feed with syrup (water and sugar) during the rainy season. Over 60% do not know how to artificially reproduce colonies and over 55% harvest honey only once a year.

The University of El Salvador, through the Faculty of Agronomy Science’s project Stingless bees and their importance in agriculture researched the diversity of species and the location of stingless bees and beekeepers. The project also included research on tomato and sweet pepper pollination with stingless bees in green houses, and evaluation of the use of propolis in treatment of papilomatosis (disease of cattle). The project offered training to farmers in keeping stingless bees.


According to stingless beekeepers the main problems are:

• Pests - including “limoncillo” Lestrimelitta limao and “mosca”, mosquito Phoridae spp; • Deforestation and forest fires; • Inappropriate use of agrochemicals; • Theft of colonies; • Migration of farmers to cities or other countries;

Stingless bee species and meliponiculture

Twenty endemic stingless bee species were identified by our researchers in 2007 and combining these findings with previous inventories by other researchers increased the total to at least 22 species.

In many American countries meliponiculture (keeping stingless bees) is an ancient practice. Honey from stingless bees played an important role in religious traditions of the ancient Maya culture, and today there are over 1,000 families in El Salvador keeping stingless bees. The majority (72%) keep single stingless species, while 28% keep more than one species. The species kept most frequently is “jicote” Melipona beecheii followed by “chumelo” Tetragonisca angustula and “zarquita” Nannotrigona testaceicornis. Stingless beekeepers with Melipona beecheii harvest an average 2.17 litres of honey (range 0.75-7.50 litres). The price varies between US$2.67 and US$14.67 (€2.03-€11.13) per litre. Tetragonisca angustula produces on average 0.33 litres and the price ranges from US$1.00 to US$2.50 (€0.76- €1.90) for 10 ml. The cost of a colony of Melipona beecheii, including a log or box, varies from US$40 to US$100 (€30-€76) and for Tetragonisca angustula from US$10 to US$25 (€7-€19).

• Lack of technical knowledge.

Products and service

The honey from Melipona beecheii is used for food, as a natural antibiotic and to heal wounds and burns in humans and domestic animals. Honey from Tetragonisca angustula is used particularly as a treatment for eye diseases, including cataracts and conjunctivitis. There are other products and services that can provide extra income to beekeepers, such as the recycling of cerumen (wax mixed by bees with resins from trees), utilisation of pollen, processing of propolis, the sale of colonies and services for crop pollination.

The majority of stingless beekeepers are male and around 50 years old. They mostly use boxes for housing their colonies, although some still use

Cerumen is not usually processed, although a few stingless beekeepers melt it and use it to make receptacles for the bees to store pollen or honey so as to save their material, similar to providing beeswax foundation in

Horizontal brood combs of Melipona beecheii

Guard bee at hive entrance 3

Bees for Development Journal 102

Stingless bees and larger Apis mellifera honey bees feeding on mango

Queen of Tetragonisca angustula with worker bees around her

Apis mellifera beekeeping. It is used also to seal small grain bins.

MINISTERIO DE ECONOMÍA (2008) Reporte Sistema de información seguimiento económico. Ministerio de Economía, El Salvador, 9 pp. MORENO AREVALO,M.C. (2007) Identificación de agentes polinizadores entomófilos en el cultivo de pipián (Cucurbita mixta) a campo abierto en el Cantón El Almendro, del Municipio de Jucuarán, Departamento de Usulután. 93 pp. PROGRAMA DE PEQUEÑAS DONACIONES DEL FONDO PARA EL MEDIO AMBIENTE MUNDIAL SGP (2002) Marco estratégico de acción del Programa de Pequeñas Donaciones del Fondo para el Medio Ambiente Mundial El Salvador. 23 pp. RUANO IRAHETA,C.E. (1999) Preliminary data on meliponiculture in west and central El Salvador. Pegone (Summer): 19-21.

Pollen from Tetragonisca angustula is a source of protein that is not usually consumed, although some farmers eat it together with honey. Pollen from Melipona beecheii is not used as a food, because its flavour is too acidic and it ferments readily, although one beekeeper uses it for dandruff control and skin care. If the propolis is processed, it can be sold for US$3 to US$5 (€2-€4) per 25 ml, depending on the concentration. This is equivalent to the price for propolis from Apis mellifera and the uses will be similar: to heal wounds and for its antibacterial, antiviral, and antimicrobic properties.

It is difficult to purchase colonies of stingless bees, because the beekeepers develop very strong bonds in inheritance cases and consider these bees as special pets. However, if they reproduce the bee colonies to increase the numbers, they may sell some of them.

Further reading

BfD Journal 100 Stingless bees in Ghana BfD Journal 82 Stingless bees in Guyana BfD Journal 83 Stingless bees in Kenya BfD Journal 67 Simple ways to manage stingless bees For these and other articles see

An example of the importance of these bees for crop pollination is Trigona fulviventris, the most frequent pollinator (43% of visits) to Cucurbita mixta, a pumpkin endemic to Mesoamerica. Pollination increases the number of fruits, the weight of the fruits and the number of seeds per fruit. References

DEPARTAMENTO DE PROTECCIÓN VEGETAL-FAO (1993) Abejas nativas de El Salvador. Protección Vegetal (Universidad de El Salvador) 3 (1): 11-12. ENGELS,M. et al (1998) El Salvador: estudio climático de datos meteorológicos mensuales para llegar a una zonificación agroclimática. MAG-CENTA, FAO, San Andrés, El Salvador. GALLO,M. (2005) Estado del conocimiento de la biodiversidad de El Salvador. Ministerio de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales, El Salvador.

Tetragonisca angustula carrying pollen

Honey from Melipona beecheii 4

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Stakeholders share hive technology experiences Biryomumaisho Dickson, Executive Director, TUNADO, PO Box 11804, Kampala, Uganda Keywords: frame hive, local-style hive, top-bar hive, Uganda

Hive type

In February 2012 a meeting was held in Fortportal Town, Rwenzori, Uganda to provide opportunities for representatives from stakeholder organisations to hear farmers’ experiences in using different styles of hive and to discuss ways forward. Later The Uganda National Apiculture Development Organisation (TUNADO) presented its draft strategic plan for discussion and input. Mr Kazahura Felix of SNV Netherlands Development Organization (Rwenzori) reported that his organisation has been working with different honey sector actors to ensure an increase in honey productivity through establishing famer led extension systems with model apiaries working as demonstration sites. The challenge has been the low volume of production compared to estimates of the sector’s potential (below). Could the style of hive being promoted affect the sector’s ability to reach its potential?

Frame 150,000

Income (UGX)

Top-bar 50,000




30 24

144.0 720,000





600.0 3 million



60.3 301,500

He concluded that promoters should focus on local-style hives since the benefits are equal and the costs far lower, and leave top-bar and frame hives to those who can afford them.

Recommendation: the use of local-style hives should be encouraged with regular monitoring to increase productivity.

It was concluded that further scrutiny and research is necessary to provide good information on the direction of investment on hive technology for upscaling production.

Honey production – actual vs potential Uganda apiculture sector profile 2010 Current annual honey production = 2,600 T Potential annual honey production = 500,000 T The price for honey in Uganda is higher than in the UK

TUNADO’s philosophy is that “We believe in promoting apiculture as a business enterprise.” The organisation is committed to the financial as well as the environmental sustainability of the apiculture sector. In contributions to its draft strategic plan, Mr Tunanukye George recommended that TUNADO:

Types of hives

• organise more country-wide meetings for beekeepers to contribute to the strategic plan

Mr Tunanukye George of of Kamwenge Beekeepers Co-operative Society (KABECOS) said that developers have sidelined local-style (traditional) hives and are promoting frame hives and top-bar hives. According to books, using frame hives provides a good harvest with high quality honey. However in reality frame hives have several disadvantages: most hive makers make hives that are poor or sub-standard which make it impossible for colonisation and honey production. Frame hives need specialist expertise to manufacture compared with local-style hives, and the technology is too expensive for many farmers.

• front the national apiculture policy

• scale up the rate of adoption of appropriate technology in the sector • increase access to extension services

• lobby for government payment for the National Residual Monitoring Plan in line with the EU market requirements.

Participating organisations Alpine, Bees for Development, Bunyangabo Beekeepers Co-operative, Effective Skills Development Consultants, Hives Saves Lives, Kabarole Beekeepers Association, Kabarole District Local Government/National Agricultural Advisory Services, Kamwenge Beekeepers Co-operative Society, Kasaba Group. Private Sector representatives: SNV Netherlands Development Organizatio, The Uganda National Apiculture Development Organisation (TUNADO).

Beekeepers gave testimony that high absconding rates meant frame hives were very expensive for the amount of honey they produced, but that they are happy with the return on local-style and top-bar hives.


Hives Save Lives reported that of all the farmers they supplied with frame hives on credit, only 2% have paid back and that for those supplied with top-bar hives all of them have paid back.

Mr Magezi Eliezer of Bunyangabo Beekeepers Co-operative (BBC) said that promoting top-bar and local-style hives in his organisation gave good results and in the last seven years BBC had not run out of honey in accordance to demand. Another reason for promoting local-style hives is the harvest of propolis which attracts a good price (sometimes more than honey).

Cost per Number Colonised Honey per Honey hive of hives hives colonised produced (0%*) hive (kg) (kg)

The 1 million investment

Hive costs and production figures from farmers were used to analyse the profitability of UGX1 million if invested in any of the existing hive types, as shown in the table (top right).

Mr Ahimbisibwe Patrick from Hives Save Lives agreed that to make a frame hive costs UGX150,000 (US$60; €45), compared with a top-bar hive (UGX50,000; US$20; €15) or local-style hive (UGX5,000; US$2; €1.5). However in his experience, average production from all types of hive is about the same and lower than the above estimates at 10 kg.

Longino Masereka from Bees for Development with KABECOS’s Rwenzori honey for sale in a supermarket 5

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Bees mimic human brain neurones in decision making

In previous work, Thomas Seeley, Professor of Neurobiology and Behaviour at Cornell University (USA), clarified how scout bees in a honey bee swarm perform waggle dances to prompt other scout bees to inspect a promising site that has been found. In the new study, Seeley reports with five colleagues in the USA and UK, that scout bees also use inhibitory “stop signals” – a short buzz delivered with a head butt to the dancer – to inhibit the waggle dances produced by scouts advertising competing sites. The strength of the inhibition produced by each group of scouts is proportional to the group’s size. This inhibitory signalling helps ensure that only one of the sites is chosen. This is especially important for reaching a decision when two sites are equally good.

Previous research has shown that bees use stop signals to warn nest mates about such dangers as attacks at a food source. However this is the first study to show the use of stop signals in house-hunting decisions. “Such use of stop signals in decision making is analogous to how the nervous system works in complex brains”, said Seeley. “The brain has similar cross inhibitory signalling between neurones in decision-making circuits.” Co-authors Patrick Hogan and James Marshall of the University of Sheffield (UK) explored the implications of the bees’ cross-inhibitory signalling by modelling their collective decision-making process. Analysis showed that stop signalling helps bees to break deadlocks between two equally good sites and to avoid costly dithering. The study was funded by the Cornell Agricultural Experiment Station, the University of CaliforniaRiverside, and the UK Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council. The full report is published in Science 9 December 2011.

Source: Syl Kacapyr, Cornell University Press Release

We are delighted to announce that Professor Seeley has recently accepted our invitation to become a Patron of Bf D Trust.

Professor Tom Seeley at work in the field



Inappropriate interventions

AMERICAN BEE JOURNAL The oldest English language beekeeping publication in the world. See a digital copy and subscribe at APIACTA For the beekeeper and bee scientist Apiacta the Apimondia Journal. Available online from BEE CRAFT UK Beekeeping Journal for beginners and seasoned apiarists View a digital copy and subscribe on line at BEE CULTURE The magazine of American beekeeping. Today’s techniques. Tomorrow’s ideas. US$15 for a digital subscription. See ULUDAG BEE JOURNAL News, practical information and research articles Published quarterly in Turkish with English summaries. See IT PAYS TO ADVERTISE BfD Journal offers a great opportunity to reach thousands of readers. Prices start from GBP35 (€42, US$60), various size ads available. PROJECT PLANNERS Remember to include an allowance for publications and BfDJ subscriptions in your budget when writing proposals. We can help with expert advice and supply you with an appropriate beekeeping library. Also include participation costs for beekeeping meetings, for example the biennial Apimondia Congresses - see Look Ahead, page 12.

I am a honey trader and exporter from Pakistan. A number of NGOs are working in the northern parts of our country to help beekeeping. Unfortunately many of them employ non-technical people and they are wasting huge funds given to them by donors from all over the world, as they know nothing about beekeeping. They give one hive per person, which anybody who understands beekeeping knows is a waste because one colony cannot survive on its own. Even if it does survive, the cost will be so high that the poor new beekeeper will just abandon the hive and walk away. I have tried to contact the NGOs and tell them that instead of this they should encourage people to work in a group and give them a number of hives, which will not only support them but will also support the colonies themselves. Just handing out a hive is not a solution - actually training people to become proper beekeepers is the most important way. But no-one is interested to do this. Instead they are happy that the funds are coming and are giving good reports to donors, so all seems well. Is there someone who really wants to do the job, which will give results in the end? I am not an NGO but I am willing to establish one, provided someone is really interested to support me. I do not want to earn anything from this project: instead I know that when it becomes successful I will get my income as the production of honey will increase in my country, and so my business will also improve. We would create an NGO and provide beekeepers with training towards selfsufficiency. We would also buy in advance their honey harvest.

Dr Ellahi Faisal, TKR Traders, Peshawar, Pakistan


Bombax costatum



Bees for Development Journal 102

Usman H Dukku, Biological Sciences Programme, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, PMB 0248, Bauchi 740004, Nigeria Keywords: Africa, bee forage, honey production, kapok, Nigeria

Apicultural value A savanna honey bee tree with multiple uses, Bombax costatum produces an abundant supply of nectar and is recommended for honey production. Family Bombacaceae

Common names English Kapok tree red-flowered silk cotton tree French Kapokier Hausa Gurjiya Fulfulde Jooyehi, Joohi Mandinka Bunkungo Wolof Kattupa

Bombax costatum tree in full bloom

important bee forage plants, including Parkia biglobosa and Vitellaria paradoxa, with which it is often associated. Details on the seasons and nectar flow in this region may be found in Dukku (2003).

Honey bees forage for nectar on this tree throughout the day. Other foragers include ants, birds, flies, stingless bees Trigona spp and wasps. Honey bees have been observed foraging on fallen flowers.

Distribution West Africa: widespread in savanna zones, from Senegal to Central African Republic

Other uses Bombax costatum is used as a shade and ornamental tree on farms and compounds. The kapok from the fruit is used in filling mattresses and pillows. The timber is used in making canoes, stools and serving bowls. The calyx is used in making soups and the leaves are a good fodder for livestock. The kapok tree is a source of herbal medicine in many communities.

Flowering period November to February

Description Bombax costatum is a deciduous tree that can grow up to 25 m high. However in the Sahel it rarely reaches over 6 m. The crown structure of young trees is storeyed, becoming irregular and sturdy in older trees.


ANON (2010) AgroForestryTree Database, World Agroforestry Centre website: SpeciesInfo.asp?SpID=1761> DUKKU,U.H. (2003) Acacia ataxacantha: a nectar plant for honey bees between two dearth periods in the Sudan Savanna of Northern Nigeria. Bee World 84 (1): 32-34. DUKKU,U.H. (2010a) Parkia biglobosa: an important honey bee forage in the Savanna. Bee World 87 (2): 28-29. DUKKU,U.H. (2010b) Vitellaria paradoxa: an important nectar plant in the Savanna. Bee World 87 (3): 59-60.

Bark thick, grey brown and corky, with typical conical, stout, sharp-pointed spines on the stem and branches.

Leaves are compound (digitate), with 5-7 leaflets, 8-15 cm long, on long petioles.

Leaflets are partly ovate, partly acuminate, at both ends, with 8-10 pairs of lateral nerves. Flowers are 5-6 cm long and solitary, deep red, orange or yellow, tulip-shaped, on long, glabrous peduncles and are calyx cup-shaped.

Fruit is a dark brown, ellipsoidal capsule, composed of five valves, dehiscent, 8-16 cm long and 3-6 cm wide, of variable shapes. The valves are furrowed for about one third the distance from the top to the middle. The fruit contains a white floss - kapok - and several small seeds.

Usman Dukku has been studying honey bees and beekeeping in Nigeria since 1984. He teaches undergraduate students and trains beekeepers.

Habitat Bombax costatum grows in savannas and dry woodlands. It does well on cropland near settlements and on stony soils.

Cultural notes Direct seeding is a preferred propagation mode, however wildlings may also be used. The seedlings are difficult to plant in spite of their vigorous rooting ability. Natural regeneration is easy and abundant when sufficiently protected against fire and livestock.

Association with bees Bombax costatum flowers during the major dearth period. This underscores its importance in maintaining honey bee colonies, since beekeepers do not need to feed their colonies at all. The end of its flowering period overlaps with the beginning of the flowering of other

Flowers of Bombax costatum

WHICH TREES DO YOUR BEES USE? Send information to the address on page 2 7

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Marketing strategy for honey in Ethiopia Phoebe Hayes, iDE UK, 8A Accommodation Road, London NW11 8ED, UK


Keywords: Africa, beekeeping association, co-operative, donor, NGO, value added product The development organisation, International Development Enterprises (iDE UK) has been working with support from UK donor Comic Relief, to enable Ethiopian beekeepers to access national markets. Working in partnership with the Ethiopian NGO, SOS Sahel, the project aimed to lift small-scale producers out of poverty by enabling them to increase productivity and sell value added honey products. This challenge was the driver of a unique partnership between The Innocent Foundation and iDE UK. This culminated in the development of a marketing strategy for the Amar brand of honey by a specialist from the Innocent Drinks company. iDE UK are keen to share the learning from this undertaking with other honey producers through Bees for Development’s network.

Two stage marketing strategy

Market research was conducted over two weeks and entailed meetings with honey experts to inform a comprehensive marketing strategy specifically for Ethiopian markets. Meetings were held with three beekeeping cooperatives, more than ten supermarkets, Zembaba Beekeepers Union, the beekeeping research centre, The Ethiopia Honey and Beeswax Producers and Exporters’ Association, honey entrepreneurs and two honey whole-sale markets. This research found the Ethiopian honey market to be highly fragmented, with a number of honey brands available, but without any clear market leader. In fact there were 12 small brands but none demonstrated any key points of difference with regard to the presentation of products and sizes.

Good promotion is important

availability of large (500 g or 1 kg) pack sizes at a relatively high cost, it was advised that the pack size should be reduced to achieve greater sales volume. This would require a supply of smaller containers.


Ensuring that AMAR continued to be competitive was key, as the product was positioned as ‘affordable’. Interestingly however, the possibility of a price increase was suggested if further research on customers’ perception of price indicated that they viewed it as a gauge of quality. In such instances, low prices would not necessarily be most attractive to consumers.

Building a marketing strategy was based on understanding three factors: 1. The strengths of the products versus those of competitors ie the honeys’ Unique Selling Point (USP) which can be obtained from a SWOT analysis (strengths/weaknesses/opportunities and threats). 2. Who the target customers are, and what is important to them. 3. The products’ positioning - what values are associated with the AMAR brand - see below.


Maintaining records and details of old stockists was considered integral to ensuring their priority if supply issues arose, and in this situation, stockists should be informed of changes in honey availability to avoid disappointment. Targeting supermarkets opening in the local area as well as targeting new outlets, such as the tourist market, was seen to hold considerable potential, as honey is a local, easily transportable and ethical product. Finally, to develop a long-term relationship with stockists, the training of a co-operative salesperson was advised, with responsibility for visiting supermarkets, generating interest and informing about the co-operative’s activities.

The marketing strategy was focused on four areas to grow sales of AMAR honey:


On finding that only one co-operative had stock, achieving a year-long supply through enhanced training, recruitment of additional beekeepers and developing a government support structure was recommended. Additionally, customers’ misconception that crystallisation of honey indicated poor quality could be overcome through educating customers about the natural crystallisation process. Lastly, considering that the domestic market does not regard honey to be a daily product, and the sole

Beekeeper’s co-operative committee 8

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Since our last update in BfDJ 96, the list of so-called third countries (those authorised for their honey to be imported into the EU by the Annex to EU Decision 2004/432/EC) has risen to 40*. The Residue Monitoring Plans submitted by Ghana and Madagascar received approval. After carrying out corrective measures to address the shortcomings in their plan, India has been reinstated to the list. Unfortunately the current plan submitted by Belize does not meet the necessary requirements and consequently Belize is no longer on the list.

Local-style hives


*To be eligible, nations must submit a Residue Monitoring Plan proving that they have systems in place to monitor honey safety.

Defining clear objectives for each promotional item and generating material differentiated on the basis of readership (such as for trade and stockists) is valuable for developing more relevant and wide-reaching promotional agenda. All communications (for example leaflets) should be tested on customers to generate feedback and ascertain helpfulness: this was lacking from current practice. Enhancing the promotion of AMAR honey also required the development of new labels, leaflets and posters which stand out to customers and reflect the intended positioning of AMAR as an ethical product.

Further information at

Recognised third countries (October 2011) Argentina





Cameroon Canada Chile


Croatia Cuba

El Salvador Ethiopia

French Polynesia Ghana

Guatemala India

AMAR honey




Production and supply have been a challenge to enhanced honey sales and initial focus has been on overcoming this constraint, and the benefits of the marketing strategy are yet to be fully achieved. The honey markets within Ethiopia and beyond hold substantial possibilities for which effective marketing and brand management are essential.


former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia Madagascar

Further reading BfD Journal 99 Access to finance for rural honey trade


New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua

Pitcairn Islands Russia

San Marino Serbia

Switzerland Taiwan


Thailand Turkey

Uganda Ukraine

Uruguay USA



EU Honey Import Prices 2011

ApiTrade Africa

The average price was €2.08* per kg although there were large differences between countries. The price for Chinese honey was the lowest at €1.34, followed by Thailand (€1.76). The highest price paid was for honey from New Zealand (€7.55). For Argentina, Mexico and Chile the price was €2.24, €2.47 and €2.70 per kg respectively.

3rd All-Africa International Honey Exposition Millennium Hall, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 26-29 September 2012 Beekeeping for food security and combating climate change A showcase for Africa’s honey industry Information at

Source: Horacio Mezziga,

*€1.00 = US$1.31 (March 2012) 9

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More than 500 poor farmers are generating income from beekeeping in Orissa State. In 1982 I started beekeeping as a hobby, but now it has become my main profession. We established the NGO Jiban Bikash and Centre for Bee Research in 1992 to work on beekeeping and its promotion among farmers and poor and landless people. We act as service providers, promoters and facilitators. For the last three years we have received a grant of Rs 2.5 lakh INR (US$5,000; €3,000) from the Orissa State Government. We are pleased with our achievements. The study materials provided by Bf D Trust including BfDJ are very informative. We use them in our work to motivate farmers to adopt beekeeping. Bikash Patra, Jiban Bikash, Kaduapada, Orissa



(Right) The NGO Jiban Bikash giving training



Bees on a boat

After fighting Varroa for ten years, the New Zealand bee industry is facing a new threat. Beekeepers say that the country's transition to dairy farming has wiped out many plants that bees rely on for pollen, and are reporting a marked decrease in pollen sources nationwide. With the spread of dairy farms and the need for large open paddocks, areas are cleared of plants like gorse and broom. “Beekeepers know farmers do not want these plants but believe there are places on farms, along stream boundaries, for example, where cattle do not graze where plants could be allowed to grow,” said John Hartnell of Federal Farmers. Stuart Ecroyd said: “Many customers come into our store (Ecroyd Beekeeping Supplies) requesting pollen supplements. They are becoming more popular, year by year”.

In 2007 I was asked to run a week’s training course for the beekeepers of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines who had suffered from a history of bee diseases and pest problems. I located only six bee colonies in St Vincent, and the Grenadine Islands had no honey bees. Crop failure was first hand and real and the farms I visited were a testament to this. The following year we transferred clean European honey bees from St Lucia on a 12 hour ferry crossing to the Grenadine Island of Bequia. The colonies prospered, but the bees liked to swarm, which is not good on small islands. The beekeepers elected to buy new queens from Hawaii*. At the time, this seemed to be a good solution: the bees became calmer, easier to manage, and everyone loved working with them. This encouraged others to take up


We conducted a five day beekeeping course for agricultural extension workers in Cordillera Administrative Region and have practical training planned through to June 2012. We also train young bee enthusiasts most recently at the Small World Christian Academy and the Pines Learning Centre.


Source: ONE News, December 2011

Edmund B Benavidez, St Louis University Extension Institute for Small-Scale Industries Foundation, Baguio City

Educating young beekeeping enthusiasts

Training for agricultural extension workers 10

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speedboat arrived and the uneventful journey lasted just ten minutes. We set up the hives in the new apiary and I provided a brief training session for the groundskeeper who will look after the bees. With luck the bees will multiply and prosper and the harvest will come back across the waters as a Boatful of Honey!

Bo Sterk, Florida International Volunteer Corps, USA

*Hawaii now has Small Hive Beetles and will no longer export queens to countries that do not have this pest.


Oluwa Youth Activity Group (OYAG) hosted a representative team of farmers from Busia District. The visitors were impressed with our training methods and have asked OYAG to provide a course on beekeeping for all their group. We are happy that over 132 people have benefitted from the resource materials provided by Bf D Trust and thank you for your support. In November 2011 we held a one day course on how to make our own protective clothing, with assistance from a team from Bees Abroad UK.

Curtis John, beekeeper in Bequia loads bees on a boat for transport to Mustique


Lucas Akol, OYAG, Mbale

Chief Inky Williams has the nicest honey house and apiary in St Vincent. He is a senior mentor for beekeeping in the country. Lucas Akol, Chairman of OYAG, explains the benefits of pollination by honey bees for fruit and crop yields using resources provided by Bf D Trust

Support for training

Bf D Training Booklets and Training Cards are for use by beekeeper trainers in Africa.

Each booklet provides one day of training on one topic. The cards provide pictures and plans illustrating techniques discussed in the booklets. These are included in our Resource Boxes for training events and workshops. Projects and associations in developing countries are welcome to apply for a Sponsored Resource Box by filling out an application form on our website, or request the form by email. Projects in other areas can purchase Resource Boxes through our website store.

Mustique apiary.

beekeeping. The Eastern Caribbean has 3-4 honey harvests per year, with the principal honey crop coming from coconut palms.

In December 2011 I returned to St Vincent and Bequia. Even though there are signs of the defensive traits of the 2007 honey bees returning, they are manageable. St Vincent beekeeping is still increasing with 375 colonies, and Bequia has 65 colonies. The importation of foreign honey is down and local demand is rising.

I also had the privilege to introduce bees to Mustique, which has never had honey bees in its history. We selected the most hygienic hives and included the newest equipment. Permission was granted from all the homeowners on the island, known for its famous and royal landowners. By ferry it takes an hour to cross from Bequia to Mustique. We packed extra veils for the captain and first mate and had a smoker ready. However a


Bees for Development Journal 102


CANADA APIMONDIA Symposium Queen Breeding, Selection & Honey Bee Health 15-18 November 2012, Quebec City Further details CHINA 31st International Union of Biological Sciences Conference 5-9 July 2012, Suzhou Further details ETHIOPIA 3rd ApiExpo Africa 26-29 September 2012, Addis Ababa Further details GERMANY 10th German Apitherapy Congress and Api-Expo 20-24 April 2012, Passau Further details

EurBee 5th European Conference of Apidology 4-6 September 2012, Halle an der Saale Further details GUYANA Grand Honey Show 7 April 2012 Further details


IRELAND APIMONDIA Symposium Bee Health 20-22 March 2012, Dublin Further details

MALAYSIA 11th Asian Apicultural Association Conference 28 September - 2 October 2012, Kuala Terengganu Further details see page 16

MEXICO APIMONDIA 2nd World Conference on Organic Beekeeping 19-25 March 2012, San Cristóbal de las Casas Further details SAN MARINO APIMONDIA Symposium ApiEcoFlora 4-6 October 2012 Further details

SOUTH KOREA APIMONDIA 44th International Apicultural Congress 2015 Further details will appear here

UK BBKA Spring Convention 20-22 April 2012, Harper Adams College Further details

Scottish Beekeepers’ Centenary Celebration 15-16 September 2012, University of Stirling Further details UKRAINE APIMONDIA 43rd International Apicultural Congress 15-20 September 2013, Kiev Further details USA North American Biodynamic Conference 15-18 November 2012, Madison, Wisconsin Further details

If you want notice of your conference, workshop or meeting to be included here and on our website send details to Bees for Development, address on page 16

LEARN AHEAD IRELAND Irish Beekeepers Summer Course 22-27 July 2012, Gormanston Further details

Bf D UK Courses Strengthening livelihoods in developing countries by means of beekeeping 19 October 2012, Monmouth Sustainable beekeeping course 13-14 October 2012 Ragman’s Lane Permaculture Farm, Gloucestershire

PROJECT FUNDING FAO (the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN) supports beekeeping projects in developing countries.

TeleFood Special Fund Beekeepers’ groups and associations may apply for project funding of up to US$10,000. Request documents should include a brief description of project objectives, proposed food production or income-generating activities, work plan, number of participants, detailed list of inputs with cost estimates and reporting arrangements. Submit your request to the FAO or UNDP office in your country. See

1% for Development Fund Small grants to enable community based beekeeping projects in developing countries to get off the ground. Applicants must define clear objectives and describe how they are to be attained. Email BfD is always pleased to hear the outcome of your application

CIVIL SOCIETY RESPONSIVE GRANT Non-profit or cultural organisations are eligible to apply for funding from the Commonwealth Foundation to support activities such as short training courses, workshops, conferences, exchanges and study visits to promote international or intercultural exchange, co-operation and sharing of skills, knowledge and ideas between people from developing Commonwealth countries. Activities should involve the participation of people and organisations from more than one developing Commonwealth Foundation member country. The funding may be used for airfares and travel costs and applications can be submitted four times a year. See GRANTS TO SCIENTISTS IFS Research Grants are for citizens of a developing country who are scientists under 40 years old, with at least a Master's or equivalent degree or research experience and attached to a university, national research institution or research-orientated NGO in a developing country. See

CENTRE OF ATTENTION A National Beekeeping Centre for Wales is becoming a reality since £200,000 of funding is secured. The Centre will help preserve and enhance local and national beekeeping and aims to help stop a potentially disastrous decline in honey bee numbers. See

BEE FRIENDS Search for beekeepers in your own nation or any other country worldwide. Go to and then Network Centre. Visit us on Facebook or Twitter to keep in touch with latest developments at Bf D 12

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Bees for Development Journal 102




Robert Aley 2011 99 pages £10.99 (€116.50) A100 An excellent text detailing all the essential considerations for creating a business from candle making. Chapters include explanation of why a feasibility study is necessary, aspects it should cover, how to do it and how to interpret it; business planning; marketing; materials, equipment and techniques; premises, workspace and stock control, and innovation and design. Finally three interesting case studies from Nepal, Swaziland and UK add great inspiration to this practical and useful text. Very highly recommended.


Kirsten S Traynor 2011 274 pages £12.99 (€119.50) T100 This new book fills an empty niche on the bookshelf: a description of the medicinal benefits of honey, based on historical documents, scientific research and professional clinical practice. However it is much more than that. The author is a honey bee biologist who has gained a world perspective of her subject, and here presents many insights into the ways honey has been rediscovered by the modern medical community: to heal chronic wounds, beat antibiotic-resistant bacteria, eliminate tissue scarring and many other curative properties. Full of interesting anecdotes and quotations, the title of this excellent book comes from the author's own description of honey: “Two million blossoms in a jar, the scent of spring, fresh, sweet, with a hint of citrus, spills over your tongue, wafts delicately through your nostrils, as you taste nature’s first sweetener - pure, natural honey”.


Elizabeth Gowing 2011 250 pages £13.99 (€221) G100 A unique travel book about Kosovo, beekeeping and food! Elizabeth Gowing is an English woman who, while living in Kosovo, was presented with a bee hive and thus a way into the culture of bees and beekeeping, and ultimately to great appreciation of the nation. One of the beekeeping communities described is the project run by ‘Women for Women’, while other beekeepers met along her way include political activists, victims of trafficking, and retired guerrilla warriors. Well written and interesting.


Maureen Little 2012 256 pages £15.99 (€224) L100 Another new and original book about creating bee friendly spaces in gardens. This text is written primarily for UK gardeners, and the plants described are those that thrive well in our temperate climate. Why do we bother with purely ornamental plants that provide no food for insects? The garden designs and layouts provide great incentive to always plant for bees and thereby of course, other insects, birds and many other species contributing to biodiversity.


Karl Showler 2011 272 pages £20 (€330) S105 A text full of delight for those interested in the history of beekeeping in Europe and North America. Karl Showler has extensive knowledge of this craft and its related literature - enabling him to provide much detail. On each page of this book, compiled from essays he prepared over the years for the UK’s Bee Craft magazine, are facts and anecdotes about bee personalities. Accompanied by a selection of interesting black and white illustrations.


Alison Benjamin and Brian McCallum 2011 247 pages Hardcover £13.99 (€221) B100 The first part of this new book introduces us to aspiring beekeepers amongst young, urban British professionals, with examples of beekeeping being integrated within school, office, business and community situations. Part two discusses how to make the urban environment better for bees – with the example of Newcastle upon Tyne, the UK’s most bee-friendly city, where political will and leadership developed a bee strategy, now implemented city-wide with enthusiastic support from schools, conservation organisations, business, parks and gardens. Part three describes the practical aspects of becoming an urban beekeeper – including interesting interviews with established beekeepers. Plenty of up to date information for new and existing beekeepers, creating an encouraging, upbeat review of the current UK situation. 14

Bees for Development Journal 102

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Dharam P Abrol 2012 821 pages Hardcover £142 (€2213) A105 A comprehensive review of the sector, with 23 chapters approaching pollination from every angle. Professor Abrol has sought to cover all aspects of the subject, and has here provided a great synthesis and summary of many other publications, projects and research work.

ALSO NOW IN STORE Hannah and the honey bees

by Alison Simms with illustrations by Terry Gable An attractive and scientifically accurate introduction to beekeeping that may well inspire children to become beekeepers. 2011 76 pages £10.99 (€16.50) S111


Bees for Development Journal 102

Pre-Conference workshops start 25 September

Conference themes • Bee biology, pests and diseases • Bee pollination • Beekeeping and honey hunting with indigenous bees • Beekeeping and honey hunting - technology and equipment • Bee products • Apitherapy • Beekeeping conservation and the environment Conference and Api-Expo information at

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